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When elderly mother Edna inexplicably vanishes, her daughter Kay and granddaughter Sam rush to their family's decaying country home, finding clues of her increasing dementia scattered around the house in her absence. After Edna returns just as mysteriously as she disappeared, Kay's concern that her mother seems unwilling or unable to say where she's been clashes with Sam's unabashed enthusiasm to have her grandma back. As Edna's behavior turns increasingly volatile, both begin to sense that an insidious presence in the house might be taking control of her. With RELIC, first-time writer/director Natalie Erika James crafts an unforgettable new spin on the haunted-house movie.


  • Emily Mortimer
  • Robyn Nevin
  • Bella Heathcote
  • Jeremy Stanford
  • Chris Bunton
  • Christina O'Neill
  • Catherine Glavicic
  • Steve Rodgers
  • John Browning
  • Robin Northover

Atom User Reviews

2.0 out of 5


Aug 6, 2020

It’s a horror movie that delays the big scares, foregoes a clean pursuit of answers, and instead piles on details that may or may not “mean” anything. They appear onscreen with a saggy and somewhat overburdened sense of psychological import, pointing toward the broader implications of what’s at play here: a matriarch’s possible dementia, for example. What they really evoke is the richer, more involved and chilling story this movie seems to want to be.

K. Austin Collins
Vanity Fair
Jul 7, 2020

A slow-burn haunted house movie becomes a disturbingly effective allegory for the ravages of dementia, which spreads like insidious rot from the afflicted into the family members witnessing her deterioration in Relic.

Metacritic review by David Rooney
David Rooney
The Hollywood Reporter
Jul 7, 2020

Strong central performances from Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin and Bella Heathcote, as three generations of women from one family, contribute to a sense of claustrophobic unease; a tone which is unnecessarily bludgeoned home by the over-excitable sound design.

Wendy Ide
Screen Daily